THE first stage of the proposed rapid transit system (RTS) should be built on the southern Gold Coast to incorporate the airport, according to the president of the Central Gold Coast Chamber of Commerce.
Nic Rone says the proposed construction of the first stage from Griffith University-Gold Coast Hospital to Broadbeach would be counter productive for the Gold Coast.
He says the city would ‘benefit greatly’ if the RTS was to operate between Coolangatta and Broadbeach, incorporating the Gold Coast Airport, due to the many economic spin-offs for local industry including the ailing tourism sector.
“Having the rapid transit system’s first stage, connecting Coolangatta to Broadbeach, is a common sense solution to all the controversy surrounding the plans at the moment and would offer major economic benefits for the entire Gold Coast,” says Rone.
“The economic reality is that there would be more paying customers using the RTS on a southern route, because it will run alongside one of the city’s main arteries – the Gold Coast Highway – and would be able to collect passengers from the Gold Coast Airport.
“As the existing plans stand there would be no more than a handful of university students using the service from Griffith University to Broadbeach, so the amount of people using the service in its first few years would only be a fraction of what it would be if it started from Coolangatta, heading north.”
Rone says the coastal strip from Coolangatta to Broadbeach is a lifeblood traffic route.
“The Gold Coast is one of the only international airports in the Asia-Pacific region which isn’t connected to a major transport network and this certainly affects its image both nationally and internationally,” he says.
“Being a travel agent by profession I visit the airport regularly and there is always people waiting around with their suitcases for public transport, who don’t want to fork out a small fortune for a taxi.”
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